If you’d asked any QPR fan what their hopes were for the season before it started, they probably would have said a top half finish and a shot at a European place. Ask any QPR fan now what they want for this season and they will probably say to avoid relegation.
QPR are rock bottom of the table thanks to four draws and defeats in all of their other games. Hughes has met with the QPR Chief Executive and it seems as though the club are going to give him the chance to get the side out of trouble but the dagger is hanging above his head and has been for some time.
The problem QPR face is that the manager still doesn’t seem to know what the best side is on a week to week basis. The club are about to go to Old Trafford and Hughes needs to simplify things if they are going to take anything away from Manchester United. QPR are blessed with talented players all over their squad so it’s a simple case of selecting the best player in each position and then using a basis formation and system.
The ultimate aim now is survival. QPR worked extremely hard to get into the Premier League in the first place and they need to stay there if they are going to develop into a bigger club over the next few seasons. They still have 26 games left in the season which is plenty of time to get 40 points on the board. The frustration of the fans is understandable because on paper, QPR should not be rooted to the bottom of the league without a win.
It’s almost become a recovery job and the club will have to start all over again in terms of what they want to achieve over the course of this season and next season. If QPR lose at Old Trafford then the pressure will further increase on Hughes to a point where he may be shown the exit sign. The problem is that a new manager will have exactly the same aim that Hughes currently does, staying up.
Since the Premier League started, only one club in a similar situation has managed to stay up which was Everton. It may sound a little cliché but the fans and the club all have to stick together because like it or loathe it, QPR are going to be battling away down near the bottom of the table for the rest of the season.
Ironically this season could ultimately work out well for the club. If Hughes can keep the side up and achieve a respectable finish in the bottom half of the table, considering their current position, then it will create confidence and belief heading into the next season. QPR will have a settled squad filled with players and a manager looking to pay back the faith shown in him.
The time for ambition and planning will come but for now it’s a simple case of getting back to basics, picking a strong team that does the basics well and turning defeats into draws and draws into wins. QPR are a long way away from having to face like back in the Championship and the fans need to realise that it will be the same situation they face with or without Hughes at the helm.